Kiobel v. Shell: Supreme Court Limits Courts’ Ability to Hear Claims of Human Rights Abuses Committed Abroad

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a disappointing decision in Kiobel v. Shell, holding that the ATS does not provide an avenue for justice for Nigerian human rights victims who were harmed when Shell Oil assisted the Nigerian government in attacking them and their family members. Despite this, the splintered opinions by Justices Kennedy, Alito, and Thomas leave open the possibility that companies and individuals may still be liable for their abuses in cases with a stronger connection to the United States.